[Pennsylvania]: zusammen getragen, MDCCXXVII. Und aufs neu abgeschrieben, 1747. A. Manuscript German-American songbook for use by a Pennsylvania family, written in black ink in a careful hand; without musical notation. Neat manuscript shoulder notes, corrections, additions, and deletions scattered throughout. Small 4to. (4), 316, (39) pp. Decorative initial letters. Text concludes with an alphabetical index of first lines and supplemental material. Text pages evenly tanned; some marginal staining, advancing to the text, to title page and several leaves at the rear. Item #63095
Paper: From the Rittenhouse Mill, Germantown, Pennsylvania, watermarked with a cloverleaf, the letters “W.R.” just below. William Rittenhouse emigrated to Pennsylvania in the late 1680s and in 1690 he and his son established a paper mill on a small stream near Germantown; the mill was long considered to be the first paper mill in America, but recent scholarship has identified earlier paper making in New England. Their second watermark included a cloverleaf and the initials “W.R.,” with other figures; different versions appeared in later years (see Gravell “American Watermarks, 1690-1835,” New Castle, 2002, second edition, pp. 301-302, for a brief discussion of the history of the Rittenhouse mills and figure 1015 for an illustration of this watermark). Binding: Typical mid-18th century Pennsylvania binding, full plain brown leather over beveled boards, two parallel blind rules framing the boards, brass fittings on corners and serving as clasps, generally in the style of Christopher Hoffman. An attractive example. Provenance: Contemporary ink initials “M. D.” on leaf facing title page (with “Maria Dresher?” in pencil underneath). Maria Dresher (1723-1772), born in Germany to George and Maria Beyer Dresher, emigrated with Schwenkfelders to Pennsylvania and married Christopher Kriebel, a teacher and minister in the Schwenkfelder Society in 1748. Typed note affixed to front pastedown: “TAGLICHES GESANG-BUCHLEIN. Daily Song Book, that is, Morning, Table, and Evening Songs. This 1747 copy is of American workmanship throughout. The paper bears the William Rittenhouse water-mark: ‘cloverleaf & W.R.’ The paper was authenticated by William [sic; i.e., Willman] Spawn, American Philosophical Society, Philadelphia, 11/30/70. The Rittenhouse paper-mill produced the first paper made in America. The binding is also American. Mr. Spawn believed it to be of an older design than the Christopher Hoffman bindings and suggested that it might have been done by Balthasar Hoffman, father of the celebrated bookbinder Christopher Hoffman. The Scribe was doubtless Maria Dresher who later married Christopher Kriebel, Jr. 12/1/70. S.F.B.” For an overview of the history and culture of the Schwenkfelder movement, see the online resource schwenkfelder.com or the scholarly article “The Schwenkfelders of Pennsylvania,” pp. 293-320 in Pennsylvania History: A Journal of Mid-Atlantic Studies, Vol. 24, No. 4 (October, 1957). RARE. We have been able to locate four other similar manuscripts, at the Library Company of Philadelphia (also written in 1747, but slightly smaller, with a different collation and containing some musical notation), Juniata College, Schwenkfelder Library (written in 1753), and Brown (written in 1758), with its OCLC descriptions noting: “Manuscript hymnbooks of this type preceded the first printed one, published under the title ‘Neu-Eingerichtetes Gesang-Buch,’ Germantown, PA: Christoph Saur, 1762. The present manuscript contains a different text.” In addition, we have found a record for an earlier manuscript version (1733) at the Schwenkfelder Library and numerous ones based on the 1762 book. Neither American Book Prices Current (1976-2017) nor RareBookHub records a copy of in trade. (9838).